Helping Australia Shrink

The unit is divided into three sections:

The parts in italics are to be read aloud to the students to help them put the activities into context.


The VIEW section begins with an inquiry question to determine how much the students know about the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The teacher leads students through a series of prompts before they watch a short documentary ‘The Furthest Corner’.

After watching, students use the RFDS Base Map and Google maps to calculate the distance travelled by a Royal Flying Doctor Service crew while attending patients in a variety of locations.


In EXPLORE, students enter a 3D environment of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Museum and Visitor Centre.

They explore the virtual environment and click on hotspots to access information and in small groups research the inquiry question ‘How has the Royal Flying Doctor Service helped Australia shrink?’


In MAKE, students respond to the themes encountered in VIEW and EXPLORE by developing a new exhibit for the Royal Flying Doctor Service museum called ‘Helping Australia Shrink’.

They create a range of interpretive materials to demonstrate their understanding of the struggles of distance experienced by the Australian Inlanders and are encouraged to share their final work with the RFDS education team.


Students will cover the following curriculum standards in this unit of work.

Geographical Concepts and Skills

Place, space and interconnection
Describe and explain the diverse characteristics of places in different locations from local to global scales (VCGGC085)

Identify and describe locations and describe and explain spatial distributions and patterns (VCGGC086)

Describe and explain interconnections within places and between places, and the effects of these interconnections (VCGGC087)

Data and information
Collect and record relevant geographical data and information from the field and secondary sources, using ethical protocols (VCGGC088)

Represent the location of places and other types of geographical data and information in different forms including diagrams, field sketches and large-scale and small-scale maps that conform to cartographic conventions of border, scale, legend, title, north point and source; using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate (VCGGC089)

Interpret maps and other geographical data and information using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate, to develop identifications, descriptions, explanations and conclusions that use geographical terminology (VCGGC090)

Geographical Knowledge

Factors that shape places and influence interconnections
Impacts of bushfires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (VCGGK095)

Environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of places and the management of spaces within them (VCGGK096)

Factors that influence people’s awareness and opinion of places (VCGGK097)